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Welcome to Muse on Booze…

Muse on Booze

Welcome to our blog where we …errr, have a muse on booze.

Sammy and Jymi are just a couple of dudes who love the odd drink and also love to rate stuff, as we all do hey? So why not combine the two.

We review a beer every week and post it each weekend. So keep those eyes peeled now won’t you. As time ticks on we’ll be doing a few other booze related bits and bobs too, so again. EYES. PEELED!

See soon..

TWITTER: @museonbooze

 

HOPERATION IPA

BREWER: Arkell’s, Wiltshire, England

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 4.2%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @ArkellsBrewery

INSTAGRAM: arkellsbrewery

DATE OF POST: 15th January 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

It didn’t take long for the initial promise of this beer to dissipate. The name had game, the label was pretty cool and the description of what the drinker should expect from the beer sounded lovely… citrus, dry and orange.

However, the name after pondering it for a seconds grew to be a little obvious and irritating. The factory scene of a label remained pretty cool but suddenly I felt like it could have been better and the taste, well the taste was very underwhelming. Not unpleasant, just underwhelming.

The name Hoperation IPA then began to grind my gears even more… See it doesn’t taste much like an IPA but more a classic English Pale. It’s not Hoppy enough, not strong enough and not interesting enough to call itself Hoperation IPA.

Though perfectly drinkable, it is not really for me this one.

Jymi’s Rating: 57%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

First things first, what an incredible name!  It smacks of a beer that’s going to throw its weight around in the heady world of hoppiness.  While I get the packaging, it’s not really hitting the mark for me.  Having said this, it does tie in with the theme of the ‘Hoperation’, and so it’s clear that much thought has gone into the whole marketing campaign that supports this beer.  Great concept!

The nose is pleasant but super faint and quickly evaporates.  It doesn’t instil much confidence that the beer will live up to its namesake.

And sadly, thus it’s the nose, not the whole PR, that is the best lead into what Hoperation tastes like.  It’s pleasant and light but it’s so, well, beige.  The hoppy notes that I was expecting just never transpire and this is disappointing. Then, there’s the aftertaste, which has waved its goodbyes before it has even arrived.  The hint of clementine flashes across the palate but that’s about all you’re going to get for flavour.  

In the mouth, Hoperation is skeletal.  It doesn’t hold much body.  It slinks away quicker than a rat up a drainpipe.

All in all, Hoperation is a let-down.  It’s by no means terrible.  It just doesn’t have much about it.

Great concept.  Not so great in the delivery.

Sammy’s Rating: 65%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 61% 

MOB review next weekend: PISTON BROKE by BOX STEAM BREWERY

TWITTER: @museonbooze

 

 

 

1643 VISCOUNT

BREWER: Two Cocks Brewery, Berkshire, England

STYLE: Golden Ale

ABV: 5.6%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @TwoCocksBrewery

INSTAGRAM: twococksbrewery

DATE OF POST: 8th January 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

There was positivity in the air from the get go when I settled down to test Viscount. I have always been a huge fan of Two Cocks brewery which is obvious from my writings on Leveller and Puritan a few years ago. So I was fairly sure I was going to be getting a decent beer here, just how decent was the question. Going into a review already being a fan of a brewery does bring added pressure however as if standards have dipped huge disappointment may only be moments away.

And before moving on to the beer I have to take a moment to once again absorb just how utterly spectacular the packaging for these Two Cocks brews actually is. In a crowded market where all brewers are scrambling to find an edge on those beer shelves with mad designs, wild names and all manner of other tricks – Two Cocks just saunter along with their actual feathers, plonk themselves down and just blow EVERYTHING else out the water. I doff my feathered hat to them once more.

Moving to the beer itself I’m actually going to quote the information on the label to help us along…

An unusual light golden ale that crosses the boundaries of beer /wine/cider in taste. The lightest of malts combined with the scarce Nelson Sauvin hop and a process that includes a piggyback fermentation deliver an ale with low bitterness and a complex fruit character.   

Ok, instantly my interest was piqued as the thought of a beer wine cider type brew done by an already trusted brewer sounded, well interesting if not bleedin’ amazing! The fact Nelson Sauvin was involved just helped things along nicely. You know what, I’m going to stop going on…

This beer is FANTASTIC!!! The dryness of wine, the fruitiness of cider and a soft hop background just make 1643 Viscount a thing of absolute beauty.

And there is nothing more to say.

Jymi’s Rating: 94%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Perfection in one’s field is near on impossible, if not completely impossible, to reach.  However, if you were going to put your money on a team doing it, then Two Cocks Brewery would be a sensible way forward, certainly in the beer world anyway.  

Let me give you a fact: 1643 Viscount is an incredible beer.  Make no mistake about it.  It’s a golden ale with the most amazing nose, which is sweet, light and citrusy.  This gives an insight into the impeccably brewed beer that sits behind the aroma.  

In the drinking, it’s light, but not so light as to not pack a punch.  Viscount is perfectly balanced with a light sweetness upfront and a light bitterness following behind.  It dances on the palate for just the right amount of time and disappears just in time for the next sip, when the experience begins again.

My one complaint about Viscount is that it should be sold by the bucket load, not just your standard 500ml bottle.  It really is that good.  

If you’re looking for perfection in a golden ale, you might never find it.  But, mark my words, Viscount may well be as close as you get.

Sammy’s Rating: 99%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 96.5% 

MOB review next weekend: HOPERATION IPA by ARKELL’S

@museonbooze on Twitter 

 

 

 

KALEIDOSCOPE

BREWER: Wiper and True, Bristol, England

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 4.2%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @WiperAndTrue

INSTAGRAM: wiperandtrue

DATE OF POST: 2nd January 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Negatives:

As much as I like the look of this tin I cannot help but think the W&T design team have slightly messed it up. The brewery name is too prominent, the marvellous elephant is too small and the name of the beer too hidden. With some tweaks this tin could be spectacular but as it is it’s just… good.

Also the aftertaste of this beer is bitter and pleasant but seriously lacking flavour. With the taste explosions in the sip, (we will get to that in the Positives section (I probably should have started with that thinking about it)) for the flavour to essentially vanish in the aftertaste is a little disappointing.

Positives:

A sensational if light pineapple nose leads you into a citrus, tangy and bitter taste experience brought to you by the classic trio of Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops. Kaleidoscope, though not massively kaleidoscopic is soft, bright, refreshing and a joy to drink to be honest.

Other notes and conclusion:

Sort the aftertaste out and this would be a flippin’ superstar of a craft pale.

Jymi’s Rating: 80%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

It took me ages to work out what this beer was actually called.  For a long while I thought Wiper and True was the beer name, not the brewery name.  After investigating and delving, I worked out that the beer was actually called Kaleidoscope, which to be fair is a great name.

Once I got over my annoyance at not being able to locate the name of the thing, I really did enjoy drinking Kaleidoscope.  

In the glass, it has a fantastic golden colour.  There’s a strong grapefruit and pineapple aroma.  And it doesn’t taste like it smells, which is not a bad thing at all.  In fact, there’s a long bitterness about the flavour, which is strong upfront and fades a little as you sup.  But once the initial fade has wavered, the low length stays for a long time.

An incredibly refreshing drop, Kaleidoscope would be great at any point in the year.  

Definitely worth a go – many will love this!

Sammy’s Rating: 81%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 80.5% 

MOB review next weekend: VISCOUNT by TWO COCKS BREWERY

TWITTER : @museonbooze

SPECIAL EFFECTS – BROOKLYN BREWERY

IT’S THE FINAL WEDNESDAY OF THIS YEARS DESIGNATED DRIVER DECEMBER 

STAY SAFE – DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE 

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL FROM MUSE ON BOOZE x 

Sammy say’s…

I have to tell you that this is a decent beverage despite its lack of alcohol. Ok so there’s the expected tail off but it’s strong upfront. It tastes like lager, which is what you’d hope. A very good effort indeed. It’s a definite yes from me!

Credible alternative? YES

 

Jymi say’s…

Not really being a fan of Brooklyn Lager in the first place Special Effects was on the back foot before she was even poured. The fact she then presented a very dark ale colour and looked nothing like a lager didn’t help either. However, Special Effects tastes good you know. Wildly thin in texture but there is plenty of hoppy flavour there.

Credible alternative? YES

MUSE ON BOOZE

APPROVED

PLUM PORTER

BREWER: Titanic Brewery, Staffordshire, England

STYLE: Porter

ABV: 4.9%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @Titanic_ Brewers 

INSTAGRAM: titanicbrewery

DATE OF POST: 27th December 2020

 

JYMI SAY’S…

So I think we’re here again, actually I know we’re here again. A beer that I simply don’t like, but does that mean it is a bad beer or just not to my taste?

Firstly, I have to admit that Titanic’s label rework a few years ago (maybe? The Covid calendar is a tricky one to keep) did disappoint me a little. They went from clean lines to a total mess if I’m being honest. So we didn’t get off to the best start here.

A Plum Porter feels like it is going to be sweet. And it was, so therefore not to my liking.

But back we come to my opening gambit, is this a bad beer or just not for me?

Well, I’m going bad beer I’m afraid. Sweet it is yes, but it needs balance, a leveller, something to calm it down. A Dudley Moore to Peter Cook if you will. And there is a hint, a bit like Dud on a bad day, of bitterness to calm the plum attack. But it’s not enough. The thought was there but not executed.

I do appreciate that if you’re calling it Plum Porter the consumer should know what they’re getting into but with the lack of bitterness it all just becomes too much.

Jymi’s Rating: 29%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

It’s time for a festive tipple! And after the year we’ve all had, we deserve it. Our offering today, well, it’s a Plum Porter. The word plum in this case is referring to the fruit, but I’m hoping this is going to be a plum porter too.

To start with, PP has an exceptional nose. Maybe it’s my seasonal spirit, but the fruity aroma most definitely has a festive note of a steamed pudding (yes, think Christmas pudding). Red fruits and dried fruits are definitely the main players here.

Then when you drink it, those fruity aromas do translate into the taste. They’re there with a hint of vanilla. No sooner have you sampled their delights on your palate they disappear and are replaced by a short boom of bitterness. None of this is unpleasant, quite the opposite in fact. But it’s all so short lived. It’s a flash in the pan. And this leaves the overall effect of a porter with no body.

PP needs some more oopmh to make it a real hit. It needs to have more body in the background to support the good things that are going on. And what you have to consider is that this comes down to the brewing. It’s a little bit showy and not enough to back it up.

I don’t dislike PP; I just don’t love it. It starts off so well and fizzles out without a bang. To gauge PP, think of a wet firework, and then translate that into a beer equivalent.

Sammy’s Rating: 56%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 42.5% 

MOB review next weekend: KALEIDOSCOPE by WIPER AND TRUE

MUSEONBOOZE.COM

 

 

 

STOUT – BIG DROP BREWING CO.

DESIGNATED DRIVER DECEMBER 

A brief December midweek look at some of the non-alcoholic options out there.

Stay safe – Don’t Drink & Drive x 

Sammy say’s…

I was nervous about trying a non-alcoholic stout.  But I need not have been.  Stout, aptly named, is a viable replacement for those that want an alcohol free hit of this dark beer.  It’s a worthwhile drink.

Credible alternative? YES

 

Jymi say’s…

If I had tried this 5 years ago I think I would have turned my nose up. My take on Stout back then was that it was a full and robust style of beer. However, some Stouts nowadays are light as a feather but still oozing flavour. This Stout from Big Drop tastes exactly like one of those. Light in texture with elements of smoke, coffee and cherry knocking around in the taste. Non-alcoholic or not, it’s tasty.

Credible alternative? YES

 

MUSE ON BOOZE

APPROVED

NOGNE O IMPERIAL STOUT

BREWER: Nøgne Ø, Agder, Norway

STYLE: Imperial Stout

ABV: 9%

VESSEL: 0.33L brown bottle

TWITTER: @nogneo

INSTAGRAM: nogneo

DATE OF POST: 20th December 2020

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

For me, stout’s are the epitome of the winter ale. I love them. And I cannot wait to try a new one. It’s something I look forward to with immense anticipation. I can’t put into the words the disappointment then, when I come across a bad one. No matter how I try, or which way I look at it, I can’t find a place where Imperial Stout works for me.

The flavour is heavy up front with a very poor and shallow finish. There’s a rush of the hallowed land of coffee overtones and dark chocolate. But it’s short lived and soon disappears into the ether. And this does not make for a pleasant drinking experience.

It’s very rare that I mention the strength of a beer. ABV should not matter. It’s the taste that counts. But with Imperial Stouts, I can’t get away from the strength of it. It’s impossible to. 9% is not necessary. It’s not an indulgence any of us need.

There are many great stouts out there. This is not one of them. My advice to you is to steer clear of this. Go for something that’s a pleasure to drink, not a battle to chew down.

Sammy’s Rating: 37%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Sometimes a beer works its way into contention if there is a doubt of its quality early on. The first few sips sometimes can be a bit of a challenge as there are so many styles and variants of those styles out there nowadays. Sometimes it takes a while to understand a beer and let it settle down on your palate.

However, with this monster it was the other way around. I really loved this brew at first but the more involved I got the more the love began to subside. See, at first I almost imagined myself sat in a -35c Red Square talking to a man with a strong jaw and a lady with blond hair and a stern look whilst sipping my Imperial Stout. It felt right, it felt warming, and the strength of the thing numbed the pain of the cold. But as I quite slowly made my way though my drink it began to dawn on me that I was sat in a warm enough suburban English garage on my own. It also began to dawn on me that this drink was becoming sweeter and sweeter by the sip. By the time I had finished it was almost a relief. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy most if not all of this beer. It just switched into something that isn’t quite for me and certainly wouldn’t have me going back for another.

That said, next time it’s -35c West of London then I’ll deffo be off for an Impy S by Nøgne Ø.

Jymi’s Rating: 67%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 52%

MOB review next weekend: PLUM PORTER by TITANIC BREWERY

muse.on.booze on Instagram

 

 

 

SOLO PEACH PALE – WEST BERKSHIRE BREWERY

DESIGNATED DRIVER DECEMBER

A brief midweek look at some non-alcoholic options that are out there.

Stay Safe – Do Not Drink and Drive x

 

Sammy say’s…

So, this Peach Pale is ok.  But it lacks substance.  It lacks bite.  And without the bite, there’s just no point in it for me.  There’s nothing to carry the flavour through and after the initial disappointment, you’re left with, well, watery after notes.  Not a viable one for me I’m afraid!

Credible alternative? NO

 

Jymi say’s…

This does taste like Peach. This does not taste like Pale Ale. Or even an Ale to be frank. It’s very nice to drink but almost resembles peach flavoured water rather than a peach Pale. Assuming there would be a large difference in price between Peach Pale and Peach Water I would probably just opt for the H2O. But if there wasn’t, I would happily opt for this.

Credible alternative? YES

MUSE ON BOOZE NOT APPROVED 

 

MOOR STOUT

BREWER: Moor Beer Company, Bristol, England

STYLE: Stout

ABV: 5%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @drinkmoorbeer

INSTAGRAM: drinkmoorbeer

DATE OF POST: 12th December 2020

 

JYMI SAY’S…

When this can landed in my hands, without anything to instantly pull me in or intrigue me, I kind of just… put it in the MOB test cupboard and forgot about it.

But when test day eventually arrived things were suddenly a little different to those initial thoughts. The packaging was way better than I had initially given it credit for. It’s subtle yet complex, not striking but understated and classy.

And I have to say this theme rolls on into the beer too. There is no fuss. No fanfare. No snazzy flavour bursts or trying too hard to be different and be noticed. Nope, none of that, just a flippin good stout. There is a soft and light texture to this beer but the flavour is not compromised because of this. As a negative I think I want a bit more punch from the aftertaste to really underline the quality of this beer. Do not get me wrong, the aftertaste is good, just needs to be a little bigger – so to speak.

A very decent offering from Moor Beer Company and one I would love to get stuck into by a fire in a cosy west country pub.

Jymi’s Rating: 79%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Simply named this beer might be. But simple in design, it ain’t.

Let’s begin with the name: Stout. It says it as it is. Job done. No messing around. Name it as it is and get on with the real business of designing and brewing a beer.

So, the design: Stout is naturally carbonated. It’s a live beer. Store it upright for the best results.

It’s clear to see that the Moor Beer Company are putting all their eggs into one basket. And that basket is clearly the taste one. How does Stout stack up?

Well, the nose is heavy in burnt coffee. It’s dark and tempting and has all the hallmarks of a stout.

Stout is most definitely complex. It’s well brewed and has depth of flavour. Rich oats come through with the dark taste of coffee. And this is good. However, Stout’s strength is somehow it’s weakness too. The live nature of this beer adds so much to the flavour but it also makes it one for the odd occasion, not for an everyday beer. Still, this is a good stout. It’s just one you might reach for on the rare occasion or one to show off to your friends.

Sammy’s Rating: 80%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 79.5% 

MOB review next weekend: IMPERIAL STOUT by NØGNE Ø

@museonbooze on Twitter

STELLA ARTOIS ALCOHOL FREE

THE FIRST MUSE ON BOOZE DESIGNATED DRIVER DECEMBER IS HERE – Just a brief midweek December look at some of the Non-alcoholic offerings out there and whether they pass muster or not.

Happy Christmas season to you all – Stay safe – Do not drink and drive x

STELLA ARTOIS ALCOHOL FREE

Sammy say’s…

Alcohol free Stella Artois tastes surprisingly like good old full throttle Stella. Ok. It doesn’t taste exactly the same but you can definitely tell it’s a Stella. And while it lacks a little punch, it’s definitely a viable candidate for the designated driver. This is a suitable replacement for a beer should you ever find yourself in a place where you can’t have the real thing!

Credible alternative? YES

Jymi say’s…

The nose as soon as you have lifted the lid is the same as regulation Stella from a bottle. The taste whilst sipping is very very close too. Taste once swallowed kinda falls off a cliff but does improve as you work your way through the drink.

Credible alternative? YES

MUSE ON BOOZE APPROVED